A former National Treasurer of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Timothy Ogbang Akwaji has been sworn-in as the new Head of Service in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.
Akwaji, who is the first journalists to be appointed Head of Service, was also Vice President East of the Nigerian Guild of Editors and former Editor-in-Chief of the Nigerian Chronicle, a Cross River State Government owned newspaper.
Until his appointment as Head of Service, Timothy Akwaji was the Permanent Secretary, Cross River State Ministries of Climate Change and International Development Corporation, MIDC.
Cordial working relationship
Speaking after the ceremony held at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Calabar Professor Ben Ayade commended the new Head of Service for sustaining a harmonious working relationship with the commissioners of the various Ministries, especially Dr. Inyang Asibong, the Commissioner for MIDC.
Ayade said, “I want this to be a lesson to all the permanent secretaries that this is what the relationship between the permanent secretary and commissioner should be.
“Within the short period of their working together, they have bonded to the point that she could reel out his citation without almost reading it,” he pointed out.
The governor solicited for a cordial working relationship between the political class and bureaucrats to move the state civil service to its next level of growth.
Professor Ayade described the new Head of Service as “a distinguished scholar, researcher, an outstanding double Master’s degree holder in Science Genetics, Management, Public Administration as well as Journalism. A distinguished man in terms of attitude, integrity, character, honour and value,” and urged him to bring his wealth of experience to bear in his new office.
“I know you are self-charged. This is the first time I am swearing-in a permanent secretary without giving a charge because I believe that you will know the right thing to do,” Ayade said.
Repositioning the service
Responding, Mr. Akwaji expressed gratitude to the governor for the appointment, noting that his appointment was received with excitement within the Nigerian media community.
He assured the governor of his determination to conscientiously drive productivity in the Cross River civil service.
“I will work with the Civil Service Commission and the Local Government Service Commission, the two institutions of the service that are responsible for recruitment, promotion and discipline so that the two services would work smoothly and harmoniously with an aim to providing the key points upon, which the laudable policies of government can seamlessly be implemented,” Akwaji said.
Promising to tackle the issue of ghost workers headlong, the new Head of Service said: “We will try as much as possible to reconcile the nominal roll with the payroll so that Cross River State that has challenges of funds will not accommodate any criminal process in the payroll.”
He promised to tackle the challenges of promotion, employment into the civil service and other matters.
Source: Voice of Nigeria